In the past couple of days Richie has found a couple of interesting articles about the best ways to support reputable charities working with the victims of Haiti’s earthquake, and other disasters around the world. There has been a huge outpouring of donations from caring individuals and companies in response to the disaster in Haiti, as there was for the victims of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Southeast Asia, and other devastating disasters around the world. This is great news. But here’s some important information to help you be sure your money is being as useful as possible to those who need it most.
This article from the Aid Watch blog, Too much of a good thing: Making the most of your disaster donations, by Laura Freschi, is definitely worth reading. Basically, it gives three pieces of advice for all of you past and future charity supporters out there:
1. Don’t restrict (or earmark) your donations to be used only in Haiti, but rather allow your chose NGO to spend the money you donate as they see fit. If you don’t trust them to allocate your funds effectively to where they are most needed, then why are you giving them money in the first place?
2. Take up the Philanthrocapitalism blog’s advice to give an equal amount to someone ‘suffering just as much, but less dramatically, somewhere else in the world’.
3. Space out your giving. Organizations with a history of working closely with Haitian communities will still be there in six months. They will probably be there in a year, and probably in five years too. They will need your money then as well, when the spotlight has shifted to the next disaster.
So, if you’ve given to charities in the past, keep on giving. Just take a little extra time to make sure your gift will be as effective as possible.